Frankfurt / Main (dpa) - A millionaire overnight: A young man discovered almost 3.5 million D-Marks (1.79 million euros) in his sick uncle's house at the beginning of the year while cleaning up.
The man had stashed the money in sacks, shopping bags and cigar boxes in his house in southern Germany and then apparently forgot it.
The man actually wanted to sell his house to settle outstanding bills.
That was no longer necessary after the junior had exchanged the D-Mark treasure at the Deutsche Bundesbank.
Even almost 19 years after the introduction of euro cash, not everyone has said goodbye to the old currency.
At the end of November, according to the Bundesbank, notes and coins with a total value of 12.4 billion marks (6.34 billion euros) had not yet been exchanged.
These are banknotes with a value of 5.79 billion marks and coins with a volume of 6.61 billion marks.
That corresponds to 164.3 million notes and more than 23 billion coins.
100 and 1000 Mark bills are still being bunkered in billions: According to the information, 17.2 million hundreds worth 1.72 billion D-Marks have not yet been returned.
In the thousands there are 1.1 million pieces worth 1.13 billion marks.
Most of the stocks were exchanged around the introduction of euro cash at the beginning of 2002.
But D-Mark treasures are discovered again and again by chance, hidden in drawers, in basements, books or in the garden.
After the death of their father this year, three children found yellowed, black lumps hidden near a drainpipe in the basement of their parents' house in Lower Saxony, which were barely recognizable as banknotes.
The children assumed that the sum would at least cover the funeral costs.
However, based on the resistant aluminum-coated security threads, it turned out that it was almost 100,000 D-Marks.
“Our National Analysis Center in Mainz does everything to replace accidentally damaged banknotes - even if the banknotes are in a condition that you might think you won't get anything for it,” Beermann reported.
The Bundesbank also accepts collector coins at face value.
"Before making an intended exchange, however, you should find out whether it is worth selling to professional collectors because of the silver content of some collector coins and thus greater value than their face value," said the member of the Central Bank's executive board responsible for cash.
Unlike in many other euro countries, the old notes and coins can be exchanged for an unlimited period at the Bundesbank.
The exchange rate is unchanged: You get one euro for 1.95583 Deutschmarks.
However, this exchange option was apparently used less often due to the corona pandemic in the current year.
By the end of November, the Bundesbank had received D-Marks worth a good 53.4 million marks.
According to the information, notes and coins were exchanged much less frequently than in the same period of the previous year and the value was lower.
The finds are becoming increasingly rare anyway.
“In the current year, however, we had a disproportionately strong decline in D-Mark submissions.
This is likely to be due to restrictions in connection with the corona pandemic, "said Beermann.
"When the times have normalized again, we expect that our offers will be accepted again."
Initially, however, some of the branches also go into lockdown when accepting money.
«From this Wednesday we will discontinue the so-called Jedermann business in the branches of the Deutsche Bundesbank until January 10, 2021.
This means that it is no longer possible to exchange Deutschmarks on site for the time being, ”said Beermann.
However, banknotes and coins can still be submitted to the Bundesbank by post.
The good old D-Mark has not completely disappeared from everyday life either.
Coins and notes are used again and again for special promotions.
This spring, for example, consumers were able to pay with marks and pennies in many shops and restaurants in the Lower Saxony town of Rinteln for a week.
The price was converted from euros to D-Marks.
However, the Bundesbank expects that some of the D-Mark holdings will never be returned - among other things because collectors have secured old notes and coins.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 201216-99-709967 / 2
Bundesbank on the D-Mark in circulation